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Zen and the Art of Data Center Greening (and Energy Efficiency)
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PG&E’s Support for Data Center Energy Efficiency

Posted By Zen Kishimoto, Thursday, August 18, 2011

The second presenter at the recent Critical Facilities Roundtable (CFRT) meeting was Melissa Bautista of PG&E. Her presentation was about what PG&E is doing to help its high tech customers, especially data center operators, conserve energy.


Melissa Bautista and her presentation

I’ve heard a lot in bits and pieces about what PG&E is doing regarding their support for improving energy efficiency at data centers. Melissa’s presentation was a good summary of what PG&E is doing and how you can get help from them.

Melissa reminded of us that PG&E covers a large territory, mostly northern and central California and part of Nevada. On the map she showed us, the territory seemed to cover about half of the entire state of California.


As part of power deregulation, PG&E sold some of its generation assets, but it still has 6,800 MW of generation capacity (3,896 MW hydro, 2,240 MW nuclear, 163 MW gas/oil, and 500 MW solar), according to Wikipedia. PG&E buys the rest from other power generators. In comparison, TEPCO generates about 60,000 MW. TEPCO’s territory is much smaller, but its population density and industry concentration are much higher. Besides, TEPCO owns all its generation sources and does not buy any power from others, which will change if the current renewable energy promotion law is passed.

For data centers, PG&E specifically provides the following:


What PG&E can help you with

The rebate program is available for the areas mentioned below:


Available rebate program areas

Finally, Melissa outlined how to get your rebate check:


Process of applying for the rebate program and getting a check

PG&E has a specific URL for high tech customers. Melissa recommended reading two reports on data center energy efficiency: Energy Efficiency Baselines for Data Centers (47 pages and PG&E’s Energy Management Solutions for Data Centers (6 pages).

I have not read them yet, but at a casual look they both seem to contain very useful information for improving energy efficiency at data centers. It is good for a utility like PG&E to invest time and money to help data center operators conserve energy and get rebates for doing so. There are three more meetings jointly scheduled by CFRT and PG&E. I will announce them when the dates are confirmed

Tags:  CFRT  Data center energy efficiency  PG&E  Stanford University 

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